Section 92A to be scrapped

Prime Minister John Key has announced the government will throw out the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act and start again.

Commerce and justice minister Simon Power will now meet with officials and rewrite Section 92A (S92) of the Act from the ground up.

"Section 92a is not going to come into force as originally written. We have now asked the minister of commerce to start work on a replacement section," the prime minister said.

No timeframe has been set for amending S92.

In a follow-up to Mr Key's Beehive press conferencing announcing the move, Mr Power released a statement saying:

"Allowing section 92A to come into force in its current format would not be appropriate given the level of uncertainty around its operation.

"This legislation was put in place to combat unlawful file-sharing which facilitates copyright infringement on a large scale ... While the government remains intent on tackling this problem, the legislation itself needs to be re-examined and reworked to address concerns held by stakeholders and the government."

S92 - which requires ISPs to have a code of practice to disconnect “repeat” copyright infringers - was due to go into force at the end of last month, but at the last minute was suspended by Prime Minister John Key until March 27.

Mr Key asked industry groups to come to a workable solution before that date.

Since then the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF), representing all major ISPs, has being working on a draft code of practice, and discussing it with copyright holders, lead by Rianz (the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand).

The TCF’s effort was dealt a major blow on March 11 when TelstraClear bailed on the TCF talks, saying it was not its job to fix bad legislation.

TCF chief executive Ralph Chivers told NBR that given the key constraint the S92 working party was under - that all members had to agree on the code, in UN Security Council 100%-consensus-or- nothing style - “the document must now, by definition, fail”.

The failure to find consensus would mean that key S92 infrastructure - such as an independent moderator standing between ISPs and rights holders like Rianz who would lay complaints against their users - was now impossible, said Mr Chivers.

Earlier today, WorldXChange owner Paul Clarkin - a member of the TCF's working party - told NBR the ISP industry consensus was that S92 should be thrown out and rewritten from the ground up rather than be band-aided.

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54 Comments & Questions

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The Government listened to the people. I'm astonished. And mighty pleased. Congrats to the Creative Freedom people and all the twitterers and telcos and everyone else who helped take it down. Congrats to the govt as well I guess. Amazing.

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Finally, this "rule" is scrapped. There would not be much good coming out of this anyway, until they think of how to ignore the PC's that are infected and spread stuff around without the users knowing.
Thanks Creative Freedom and the Government

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I detect much winnage in this thread.

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Its great news that the Government have scrapped S92a, it was a totally unworkable piece of legislation. Lets hope we can now move forward and find a workable and unbiased solution.

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It finally happened, the rule is scrapped, thanks creativefreedom

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It was never going to work in its original form, good to see it being scrapped.

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Well done, but... now the gummint is going to rewrite, god knows what piece of cr4p they'll come up with to replace it. I dread to think.

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The best news any online start-up like mine (www.endemicworld.com) could hear.

So its mark your own work... and the market is open for personal online security management.

Well done to everyone who participated and Key for listening

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I mailed them some time ago citing there are major drawbacks to people like me, who are considering investing in countries like NZ by bringing in business. You don't want to start up an internet-dependent company - say, an ISP, or hosting company - and have to spar with a "guilty until further notice" 3-strikes law. I'm guessing I wasn't the only one to cite complaints along these lines, and of course there are many other considerations which have had more press. But presenting it as a financial problem probably tickles them more than a human freedom rights question. Ah, well. Glad to have helped ;)

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!

On behalf of all downloaders I extend their thanks to NZ's lawmakers first of all for cleverly drafting such a piece of garbage that was doomed to fail and secondly for so convincingly making everyone believe that said garbage would actually get passed into law.

All this controversy has led downloaders to pursue alternatives that are faster and stealthier than the peer-to-peer/torenting model. And you've also solidly alienated many companies, internet users and related organisations from supporting any further action on this front.

It was generous of you to sacrifice so much for your public along the way; making out that lawmakers are desperately out of touch with reality and more than willing to blindly follow lobbyist's pursuit of justice.

Well done!

Just one piece of advise - I wouldn't recommend going ahead with 92a "round 2", you can't use labour as the scapegoat next time.

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This Govt is certainly earning brownie points with me by applying common sense to a range of issues that have arisen out of some very shonky thinking by the previous mob.
As an ISP that would have been at the blunt end of this rediculous and unworkable law, we are much relieved it's been kicked into touch, hopefully over the fence never to be seen in this form again.

A lot of businesses probably don't realise they would have been classified under this silly law as an "ISP" themselves, having to act on difficult to confirm evidence of copyright infringement by their employees.

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This is great... I was dreading the day I was no longer able to use my internet for anything except google. Thanks John Key for getting rid of it. I hope theyre never able to bring it back

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Some people seem to believe this means their file sharing is now legal and/or protected. That isn't the case here. The major win here is for ISPs and businesses, who are no longer being forced to come up with costly and impractical codes, nor play man in the middle.

For those people sharing copyright material without permission: It was against the law before this reform. It will be against the law despite s92a being thrown out. And s92a is only being removed to make way for new clearer and practical legislation to achieve the same purpose.

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What is up with all this "yay National, yay Key" crap? If National really were acting in the best interests of this country they would have thrown out this law when they came into power, like they did with other proposed laws. Key himself has said that a law like this is still necessary if we are to have a free-trade agreement with the USA.

My thanks go to the little, independent politicians who rallied against the amendment, not some other parties who never made a clear decision one way or another.

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In my view the US IP laws are profiundly broken and this is the end run around the legal systems for the IP owners to go after the downloadeds with little or no proof. I'm glad the section is dead as it was open to rampant abuse. But it's replacement may end up being even worse.
Remember freedoms are much harder to win back than to give away.

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Congratulations New Zealanders!
Your protests forced parliament to acknowledge your rights. This time. I don't know that your battle is truly over.

See my take on this at:
Draconian Internet Copyright Law Dead, Or Is It?
http://amccright.blogspot.com/2009/03/draconian-internet-copyright-law-d...

Write your MPs and keep them on their toes.
http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/HvYrSay/Contact/2/9/d/00PlibHvYrSayContac...

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I find it amazing the number of comments here that continue to support the proliferation of copyright infringement laws. Copyright laws already exist, they just have to be policed effectively.

There are plenty of cases of burglary, car theft, pickpoceting, tagging etc. that go without any investigation whatsoever. Why should we as a nation be more concerned with copyright infringement when we won't even address crimes that are closer to home.

I think that everyone would appreciate more focus on solving domestic crimes than protecting the income of Hollywood.

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@jacko very well put. I get where you are coming from.

But think if it was a small business' copyright opposed to Hollywood's richy riches. In some ways, we need it. My <a href="http://www.goldenrule.com/">golden rule</a> : support the little man!

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You definitely shouldn't be sharing copyright information without permission. It isn't worth the risk, even if they aren't policed effectively.

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Amending S 92 is currently necessary because of it's old fashion style. I saw a nice <a href="http://www.resumesplanet.com">resume</a> of one politic that said that all the old laws requiring reissues and amendments because they can not take full effect in our rapidly changing world!

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A recent UK government report that found that 73% of UK consumers now believe that "broadband is becoming as essential a utility as electricity or water."

One troubling aspect of the s92A rewrite is that Internet Termination has been carried over as a form of punishment, going international trends in the UK with officials condemning termination as “unfair” and a “disproportionate response” to infringement. Internet access is an essential utility to New Zealand homes and businesses. In future years internet termination will be seen as unfair as cutting off someone's electricity, phone or post service. Instead fines or royalty payments can be measured to fit.
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Since the definition of companies also includes ISP that provides Internet connectivity to its staff, which now may be a little easier.

It will be interesting to see not only what the government process used to write the replacement legislation, but also undoubtedly poisonous <url=http://paraorkut9.org/>recados para orkut</url> autoclave to work.It biffing of life means that ISPs have had to miss the customers who may be suspected of downloading copyrighted material, before the customer had the opportunity to show they really wern't ...

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I find it amazing the number of comments here that continue to support the proliferation of copyright infringement laws. Copyright laws already exist, they just have to be policed effectively.

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There are plenty of cases of burglary, car theft, pickpoceting, tagging etc. that go without any investigation whatsoever. Why should we as a nation be more concerned with copyright infringement when we won't even address crimes that are closer to home.

I think that everyone would appreciate more focus on solving domestic crimes than protecting the income of Hollywood.

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Copyright is a serious problem and it can make a company win or lose hundred of millions when it's broken. As I've read in an article on <a rel="follow" href="http://www.teamworkonline.com/bartie.cfm">Jared Bartie</a>'s blog, the current form of the 92A section of the copyright law has many gaps and it can't continue to be enacted in this form. A change was needed to protect the business interest of the copyright holders.

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My thanks go to the little, independent politicians who rallied against the amendment, not some other parties who never made a clear decision one way or another.

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